Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Pic(k) of the week 16: BIRD SILHOUETTE - AL QUDRA LAKES, DUBAI

In my Pic(k) of the week 12: LOVE LAKE, DUBAI, I've blogged about my visit to the Al Qudra lakes area outside Dubai; part of the Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve area, the lakes are great for bird watching! Although I wouldn't specially call myself a bird-watcher or birder, I do enjoy spending time amongst them; hopefully with a camera close-by. 

After having flown my Mavic 2 Pro drone around the area, I started looking to shoot the sunset from ground level before going home. As the sun was dipping below the horizon, I spotted what I believe was an Egyptian Goose on a large tree. The bird silhouette immediately stood out as a great photo opportunity. 

As long as one exposes for the background instead of for the subject, silhouettes are relatively easy to shoot. In the image below, I exposed for the sky in the background rather than the bird or tree. 

There are a few ways of achieving this; using aperture mode, one can use spot-metering and then lock the exposure before making the image. If this is too technical, use a good amount of negative exposure compensation to get the exposure one wants. The last one is shooting in full Manual mode and dialing in a specific aperture, shutter speed and ISO that gets the correct silhouette exposure. While it might take a little bit of time to first set it up, it has the advantage that different images will be consistent as long as the light doesn't change. 

In all cases, using a mirrorless camera where you can see immediately what you get, makes things significantly easier. 

Image details:
  • Fujifilm X-T3 with XF100-400 lens
  • ISO 400, 1/1900s, f7.1, 400mm
  • Lightroom CC for RAW file development
  • DxO Nik ColorEfex Pro 4 for optimal contrast
  • Photoshop CC with High Pass filter for some additional sharpening
More of my "Nature of the UAE" images can be found here

Remember: "In nature light creates the color. In the picture, color creates the light" - Hans Hofmann


BJORN


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